Falkirk midfield ace Craig Sibbald (21) – scorer of a wonderful opening goal in the Bairn’s 2-1 home derby success over Dunfermline Athletic last Saturday – has been praised by first team coach James McDonaugh.
Sibbald netted with a brilliant lobbed effort over imposing Pars keeper Sean Murdoch after 27 minutes of the Championship clash.
McDonaugh said: “I’ve actually spent a bit of time with Craig one to one this season.
“He was reported as saying that he was feeling a bit down about his alopecia at the start of the season.
“I’ve been speaking to him for the last few weeks.
“I thought his form did dip. I think he had a couple of games where he didn’t do as well.
“But we were speaking about things and trying to kick him on.
“Sometimes just mentioning statistics and some working on his game.
“But his goal on Saturday – both of our goals actually – were different class from a coach’s point of view.
“They were two excellent goals, things we have worked on on the training pitch.
“Putting them into practice is difficult.
“But I think for Sibbs, the type of goal it was for him, it proves the doubters wrong who didn’t think he could do that sort of thing.
“He has picked it up after a forward pass and has shown an energy, a change of pace and a desire to get beyond the ball and then he’s shown great bravey to finish it. It was a great finish.
“Big Sean Murdoch’s a colossus of a goalkeeper.
“I was delighted for Craig to score his goal and obviously he got the goal against St Mirren that was a deflection.
“I think he’s got three goals in nine games so that is a decent return for him already in the first quarter.”
McDonaugh said that Sibbald was better suited to playing in a central role rather than out wide.
He added: “I think he gets on the ball more (in a central position).
“He is obviously not a winger as maybe he lacks that wee penetration to burst past a fullback.
“But in the middle of the pitch he can get on the ball and he reads the game very well.
“He passes the ball, he can create things and he has scored goals.
“He can score goals from both positions to be fair.
“His goal against Hibs in the first game was outstanding. And his goal on Saturday I thought was an excellent team goal and a different type of outstanding from him. Rather than just playing it forward and watching what John Baird did he got by him to score.”